A new Web site enables Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealers to search one another's inventories for the certified used vehicles they want.
Ford Motor Co. launched the free online service in February.
Jim Edwards, vehicle remarketing services manager for Ford Motor's certified program, said the Web tool gives dealers access to more used vehicles without the cost of stocking them. It also helps them sell or trade vehicles that fit other dealers' needs.
"Because those vehicles have been checked and the process has been standardized across the dealerships, they can search for that Mustang or Escape the customer has been looking for," Edwards said. He spoke at a Detroit conference last month sponsored by Auto Remarketing magazine.
"After about two months, a vehicle starts to cost dealers money in interest charges and depreciation," Edwards said. "We're just trying to help keep dealers as profitable as possible."
Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealers can download the vehicle locater at https://cpo.dealerconnection.com. Registration is required.
Edwards said about 3,400 of the 4,396 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealerships sell certified used vehicles. The Web site offers dealers nearly 25,000 certified cars and trucks, he said.
Dealers decide which vehicles to make available to their colleagues. Users of the Web system can search for cars and trucks by such features as make, model, model year, mileage and color. They also can specify equipment, such an automatic or manual transmission and two-wheel or four-wheel drive. They can search the database nationally or by region.
Glenn Romines, a Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealer in Houston, Mo., said he loves Ford's certified used-vehicle program but he's not likely to use the locater. He said he would rather certify vehicles at his own stores than acquire them from other dealers. That way, he said, he knows the vehicles will meet his standards.
"We just had an audit (by Ford Motor), and when they look at the cars we certified, we passed with an A-plus," Romines said. "I don't know that (other dealers) are as picky as I am."
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